Something just hit the fan and it's not pretty.
I had been quiety monitoring the Talk Chess forums for sometime now and the it appears that the dam has finally broken.
The creator of Fruit, Fabien Letouzey has filed an official complaint to ICGA complaining that Rybka has taken code from Fruit in direct violation of the GPL. Instead of reproducing the letter, I've provided the link to it. You can see it here from ChessVibes .
I had originally heard about it on the grapevine and was waiting for some official confirmation but it looks like ChessVibes was the first to report it.
What has given enormous weight is the list of whos-who of programmers who put their names on the letter. To those who are unfamiliar with the names, allow me to give a quick blurb for all of them.
Fabien Letouzey - creator of Fruit
Zach Wegner - co-developed Rondo
Mark Uniacke - creator of HIARCS
Stefan Meyer-Kahlen - developer of Shredder
Ed Schröder - creator of Rebel
Don Dailey - a computer chess engine developer since the 90s
Christophe Theron - programmer of Tiger
Richard Pijl - programmer of The Baron
Amir Ban - co-author of Junior
Anthony Cozzie - author of Zappa
Tord Romstad - needs no introduction
Ralf Schäfer - author of Spike
Gerd Isenberg - author of IsiChess and HansDamf
Johannes Zwanzger - author of Jonny
This is a very serious charge. Make no mistake, these are highly respected computer chess programmers with years of experience under their belts and when you get these many people putting their names directly accusing Vasik Rajlich (owner of the hugely successful Rybka) of violating the GPL and using code from Fruit, you can be sure that this will cause a major shakeup.
What now remains to be seen is how David Levy, Jaap van den Herik and the ICGA Board will respond to this serious charge.